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More than 100 guns, 11 kilos of fentanyl seized in drug trafficking bust

Jesse James Bailey, 39, out of Steilacoom, is alleged to have trafficked large amounts of fentanyl, methamphetamine and other drugs in Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

TACOMA, Wash. — Twenty-seven people were indicted by a grand jury for drug trafficking in Washington and other states, including the alleged leader who is believed to be a member of a white supremacist prison gang.

Jesse James Bailey, 39, out of Steilacoom, is alleged to have trafficked large amounts of fentanyl, methamphetamine and other drugs in Washington, Idaho and Alaska. Bailey and other defendants had detention hearings in Tacoma on Monday.

On March 22, law enforcement seized 177 firearms, more than 10 kilos of meth, more than 11 kilos of fentanyl in pill and powder form, 3 kilos of heroin and more than $330,000 in cash from 18 locations in Washington and Arizona. 

Before the takedown on March 22, the drug trafficking ring was under investigation for about a year. During that time, law enforcement seized additional drugs, cash and firearms.

“The sheer amount of narcotics seized in this investigation is shocking,” said Jacob D. Galvan, acting special agent in charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Seattle. “The fentanyl seized in this operation contained enough lethal doses to kill everyone who lives in Tacoma and Seattle, with enough lethal doses left over to poison another half a million people."

The following people have been indicted and are in custody, unless noted: 

  • Jesse James Bailey, 39, of Steilacoom
  • Thomas Carver, 59, of Auburn
  • Bryson Gill, 30, of Buckeye, Arizona
  • Yehoshua Kilp, 37, incarcerated in Washington state prison
  • Gustavo Castellanos-Tapia, 37, of Burien
  • Candice Bailey, 41, of Steilacoom
  • Ronald McComb, 58, of Ridgefield, Washington
  • Keagen Larsen, 28, currently incarcerated in King County Jail
  • Sean Moinette, 54, of Spanaway
  • Gregory Beers, 30, of Edgewood, Washington, being sought by law enforcement
  • Michael Warren, 63, of Shelton, Washington
  • Michael Slocumb, 44, of Concho, Arizona
  • Isaac Cervantes, 24, of Phoenix
  • Sara Thompson, 37, of Bonney Lake
  • Shawn Ellis, 31, of Renton
  • Eric Smith, 52, incarcerated in Washington State prison
  • Joseph Hempel, 45, of Burien
  • Stephanie Yepez, 42, being sought by law enforcement
  • Daniel Hammond, 41, of Puyallup
  • Philip Boorkman, 40, of Seattle
  • C’La Morales, 36, of Pierce County
  • Ronnie Griffin, 64, of Tacoma
  • Anna Sarnes, 37, of Quilcene
  • Anthony Escoto, 51, of Tukwila
  • William Tripp, 34, being sought by law enforcement
  • Dana Hanson, 57, of Burbank, Washington
  • Justin Hanson, 48, of Burbank, Washington

The investigation was led by the FBI with investigative teamwork from the DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, the Washington State Department of Corrections and local assistance from the Tacoma Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, and the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, led by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Washington State Patrol, Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Lakewood Police Department, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service assisted the primary investigators.

On March 22, agents and officers from FBI Phoenix, DEA Phoenix Field Division, the U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Puyallup Tribal Police, and the Vancouver, Pasco, Kennewick, Puyallup, Steilacoom, and Burien police departments, the Clark, Cowlitz, Jefferson, King, and Benton county sheriff’s offices all assisted with arrests and search warrants.

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards released the following statement:

“Today, U.S. Attorney Nick Brown was joined by state and federal law enforcement officers at the federal courthouse in Tacoma to announce the indictment of 27 individuals in Washington state and Arizona in connection with a major drug trafficking organization. Many members of the group identify as part of the Aryan Family – a white supremacy group active in Washington state prisons. I am proud to commend the outstanding work of Tacoma Police Chief Avery Moore and the Tacoma Police Department who, along with their law enforcement partners, removed illegal guns and drugs from our streets and dealt a significant blow to the networks that profit from them. The success of this operation is a testament to their tireless dedication and commitment to protect and serve our communities.”

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